CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The PACT Act has been signed into law, with the Robstown couple has worked tirelessly to provide healthcare and benefits to veterans who served their country.
Its been 13 years in the making, and although the law has been passed, Burn Pits 360's work is not done.
Le Roy and Rosie Torres have dedicated a good deal of their lives to address the "toxic wounds of war" through advocacy, research and outreach. Now, it's finally paid off.
"All the effort, all the years of work, it was like staring at us, right in the face," Rosie said.
Still soaking in the realness of it all, Rosie said that she is trying to come to terms with how great of an impact the law will have on the nation and the men and women who fought for it.
"We passed you know, billions of dollars of legislation that's gonna help 3.5 billion people," Rosie said.
However, the now passed law had its own fair share of difficulties. Just two weeks ago the bill was met with delays due to what senate republican Ted Cruz called a "budget gimmick" used to weaponize the bill in democrats' favor.
"The reason I voted against it is there was a budget gimmick that the democrats included in the bill that is unrelated to veterans and veterans care," Cruz said. "And in particular what this bill provides is $279 billion in new funding for veterans for care of burn pit health concerns, I enthusiastically support that."
What makes the bill remarkable in nature is that there is no discrimination of what type of veteran you are in order to receive healthcare benefits.
"Vietnam, Gulf War, you know, the whole community, and all of America came together. We had veterans driving in from Ohio, Missouri, Texas. You know, some took trains, planes, cars," Rosie said.
Long time supporter, Jon Stewart provided powerful words in Washington D.C.
"These people thought they could finally breathe. You think their troubles end because the Pact Act passes? All it means is they don't have to side between their cancer drugs and their house. Their struggle continues," Stewart said.
The promise Rosie made to her husband Le Roy is now fulfilled. She said that even now, there's still healing to be done on a personal level.
"You know, this doesn't cure his health issues, but the promise I made to him and promises we made to 3.5 million people that we finally did it," Rosie said. "We lost a lot of time away from our kids, these past 13 years and so, yeah it's very emotional."
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